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Thermoelectric Technology in the Medical Industry

Thermoelectric technologies have a wide range of applications across multiple industries. They are great alternative energy sources due to scalability, sustainability, efficiency, precise temperature control, and long operational life just to name a few.

One of the most dynamic and exciting industries in modern society is medicine. People are living longer and there are more cures to diseases than ever before thanks to continual medical advancements.

Of course, the extensive research of medical professionals and scientists has accelerated the finest discoveries in the medical realm, but many classes of technology have aided the field in its advances. One of those technologies is, of course, thermoelectric technology.

So how are thermoelectric technologies applied to the medical industry?

Thermal Cycling

Thermal cycling is an environmental test that induces stress through thermal fatigue in order to detect defects and failures in a phase change material. Thermal fatigue is induced by exposing a material to changes in temperature through cyclical heating and cooling between two temperature extremes.

In the medical world, thermal cycling is primarily used for polymerase chain reactions (PCR), which amplifies strands of DNA sequences that can then be analyzed. This is done by systematically changing the temperature of PCR reaction mixtures, which then separates the double helix of DNA strands and duplicates them. Thermoelectric technology, like II-VI Marlow’s Extended Life Thermoelectric Cooler product line, facilitate this extreme temperature cycling to generate millions of copies of a single DNA strand.

Genetic sequencing is essential for the decoding and analysis of information about living organisms and the diseases and bacteria that ail them. This can lead to further developments of treatments for genetic diseases and contagious bacterium.

II-VI Marlow’s XLT series operate at the heart of PCR thermal cycler modules, unparalleled in their ability to fulfill PCR requirements including thermal uniformity, repeatability, accuracy and speed.

If you want to learn more about II-VI Marlow's PCR Thermocycle applications, download our case study here!


    Download PCR Marlow Case Study 

Direct Conduction

Temperature stabilization equipment is used primarily in the fields of hematology, microbiology, and molecular biology to assist in the performance and reliability of analytical devices at extreme temperatures.

There are many applications for temperature stabilization equipment in research and medicine.

Charge-coupled device sensors is a high-quality image sensor technology that, when infected with small electrical currents, can endure low image resolution. By cooling these CCDs with temperature stabilization equipment like those in II-VI Marlow’s product line, improves CCD sensitivity to low-light intensities and reduce electric currents, thus improving image resolution.

Similarly, II-VI Marlow products can be applied to thermal imaging cameras to stabilize the temperature of the infrared detector to insure validity and image quality. Single Photon Counting Modules, High-Speed High-Sensitivity Cameras, Optical Detectors, Deep Depletion CCD Cameras, and Aesthetic Medical Lasers, all utilize thermoelectric cooling devices for temperature stabilization.

Precision Temperature Control

Precision temperature control is essential for accurate clinical testing. Thermoelectric heating and cooling systems have been a proven solution to meeting strict clinic and laboratory requirements in terms of temperature control.

Thermoelectric heaters and coolers for air-to-air or air-to-cold plate thermal exchanger systems allow for immunoassay reagent cooling, in vitro diagnostic specimen temperature control, genome sequencing reagent cooling and general cooling units for the storage and transportation of insulin, tissue and human organs.

Air-to-liquid exchangers are utilized in physical therapy and hospital environments, where precise temperature control of liquids is essential for applications like laser cooling systems, contrast therapy, soft tissue therapy, whole body cooling and heating blankets, and burn trauma treatment systems. In II-VI Marlow thermoelectric systems, customer control scheme can be programmed to provide infinite temperature control.

Last but not least, liquid-to-liquid exchangers assist in the precise temperature control of sanitary fluid such as blood and plasma. By placing a temperature sensor in the bloodstream, the thermoelectric system then provides control of the fluid’s temperature as it circulates through the exchange system.

Do you have questions or concerns about thermal management solutions for medical applications? Contact our experts via the link below.

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